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Account for the success of the Bolshevik revolution in

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Introduction

Account for the success of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia in October 1917. The Bolshevik seizure of power or coup de'tat of October 25th, 1917 was a culmination of both internal and external failure to satisfy the needs of an oppressed Russian society. In contrast to the spontaneous revolts earlier in 1917, the Bolshevik revolution was 'a carefully planned plot carried out by 'professional' revolutionaries.'1 The victory of the Marxist Lenin's Bolsheviks was due to the failure of the Provisional Government in response to land policies; their failure to gain support from the masses; the lack of 'real' authority of the Provisional Government and the military failure of the army. Secondly, the failure of the Petrograd Soviets and All Russian Congress of Soviets contributed to the Bolshevik revolution due to inability of its moderate socialist leaders to exert their 'popular' power. The Bolshevik victory was attained due to the rise of the Bolsheviks through 1917, with the leadership of Lenin and their ability to attack the bourgeoisie state of the Provisional Government. Furthermore the Bolshevik revolution was achieved due to the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks, by gaining the critical support of the 'Red Army' though Leon Trotsky's role within the Military Revolutionaries Committee. Firstly, the successful Bolshevik revolution was account of the failure of the Provisional Government in response to its problematic land policies. 'Five features distinguished the land situation...a shortage of land in the central provinces, the demand that all land be transferred to the ...read more.

Middle

'Maintenance of the war effort not only frustrated the peasants' land demands but also influenced the government's attitude towards worker's demands. The war required enormous supplies of such things as food, clothing, shoes and arms, which stretched Russia's manufacturing resources to their limit.'8 The defeat of the struggling Russian army allowed German and Turkish forces to establish easy blockades on Russia's geographical boundaries; therefore 'Russian dependence on imports of raw materials further increased the country's vulnerability to the blockade.'9 The inability of the government's machine of repression shares a similarity to the breakdown of the military during the February revolt, demonstrating the significance of a steady army in maintaining order. However the Kornilov affair seemed to provoke the dissolution of the Provisional Government's military leadership. 'An unsuccessful attempt by General Kornilov, head of the army, to overthrow the Kerensky government and establish a military dictatorship further discredited the military leadership.'10 Despite the ill-judgment of the Provisional Government and the unforeseen Kornilov incident, further military failure was channelled through the poor conditions experienced within the army. 'Because of general war weariness, bad nourishment, mistrust of officers, there has developed an intense defeatist agitation accompanied by refusals to carry out orders, threats to the commanding personnel, and attempts to fraternize with the Germans.'11 Indeed, the failure of the Russian military contributed to further discontent with the Provisional Government's promise to guarantee security. ...read more.

Conclusion

With the 'Red Army' as the Bolshevik machine of repression, little resistance was met. N.N. Sukhanov, The Russian Revolution 1917: A Personal Record, (1962), comments on the importance of the final downfall of the Provisional Government, 'it (events of October 26th) was natural to try above all to paralyse the political and military centre of the Government, that is, occupy the Winter Palace and the Staff.' Indeed, Trotsky under Lenin's control, with his role in the Military Revolutionary Committee was pivotal to the final seizure of Winter Palace on October 26th. In conclusion, the victory of the Bolsheviks can be attributed to the failure of the Provisional Government in response to land policies; their failure to gain support from the populace; the lack of 'genuine' authority of the Provisional Government and the military failure of the army. The failure of the Petrograd Soviets and All Russian Congress of Soviets also contributed to the Bolshevik revolution due to inability of its moderate leaders to exert their 'popular' power. The Bolshevik victory was attained due to the rise of the Bolsheviks through 1917, with the leadership of Lenin and their ability to attack the bourgeoisie state of the Provisional Government. Furthermore the Bolshevik revolution was achieved due to the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks, by gaining the critical support of the 'Red Army' though Trotsky's role within the Military Revolutionaries Committee. However the Bolshevik seizure was rather a beginning than an end to the revolution, as civil war loomed rather than the democratic peace Lenin had foreseen. ...read more.

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